Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Friends of Zelda Google Map

I've begun a Friends of Zelda Google Map so we can try to keep Zelda's memory alive by connecting with one another and continuing the tradition of "Zeldaing".

Zelda: Final, Final

The video montage that was part of Saturday's ceremony at the Vista Theater.

We all miss you, Zelda!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Zelda Stories - by Janet Carroll

“Zelda May” and I met on the set of both of our first TV pilot called “I Gave At The Office” in 1982, I think it was. It was the story of Brandon Tartikov’s early years working in Boulder, CO as a clerk at an advertising agency with the usual unusual characters involved in that wacky stressful business. I can see it and see her so vividly – Zelda played the sandwich cart person named “Scruffy” who came around each day to give out refreshments and sage advice. Type casting? Anyhoo, she wore bib jeans and a baseball cap on sideways and was so completely comfortable with herself and her role ~ I was fascinated with her candor and her ease ~ we could have been chatting at some posh luncheon spot rather than a sound stage at the network.

Zelda latched on and never let go. She called me regularly to assure me I was thought of and cared for by her and her army of unseen forces. I was studying for the ministry then in my “spare time” and we shared philosophies and superstitions, theories and Judeo-Christian ideologies. She assimilated my background info thoroughly and I knew that was always on file in our subsequent conversations. She never forgot anything I told her, it seemed. She treated my son as her own, of course.

One of my very favorite recollections is the time she came over to my apt in Santa Monica to chat about her audition for “The Gambler, part 5” or whatever sequel it was. We discussed her dialogue and then got around to “what to wear?” We went upstairs to my closet and poked around - I pulled out a skirt that I thought was sort of Westerny – she stepped into it and pulled it up under her armpits and with her little boots on, it just reached the floor. Aha! Then came the printed fringed scarf over the shoulders and then... the large red feather plume which she decided she could wear in her hair or just carry as an idiosyncratic prop of her flamboyant character as the bar-keep or madam or whatever it was. Oh my god, we laughed and carried on like little girls playing dress up – cuz we were ! She got the part and thanked me forever afterward. What could I say? We all need that kind of reassurance when going on an audition, right.

Now, while writing this just now my dictionary fell off my desk and smacked into the leg of same, knocking the leg askew and causing the desk to fall over at a weird angle. She’s gotta be here sharing the moment. God bless you, my sister/friend Zelda. Oh, and thank you for the gazillian laughs and the indelible memories ~ not the least of those of our trip to Paris, of course.

Zelda’s singing always touched my heart deeply, as well. Her “February Man” and those special songs written just for her were so precious and unique unto her alone. And she was the most faithful fan one could ever have. She came to every singing performance of mine in L.A. over all the years and was so appreciative of my music and for “making the scene”. She introduced me to wonderful jazz musicians I didn’t know, like the brilliant pianist Benny Green. We’d meet at Catalina’s and watch two sets in a row if we liked the musicians that night.

There’s an essence of Zelda that has infused itself into my being and I am better for the thoughtful nudging that I feel from her from time to time. I didn’t know she was gone in January and I would have to suppose that’s because she’s NOT now, nor ever will be completely away from any of us who shared her love and boundless energy. I am grateful for and enriched by the very extended family she introduced to me and I welcome the opportunity to keep her very present when you and I meet...wherever that might be.

“I’ll be seeing you, dear Zel”

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Irene Adams Remembers Zelda

Zelda and I met in 1959, were best friends right up until her last breath, travelled all over Europe together in 1961, went back to Europe in 1962, lived together in San Francisco when she came back from Italy.

She visited me wherever I lived: from Maracaibo to my current home in Belo Horizonte.  My children have loved their Aunt Zelda since they were born and my grandchildren loved their Boobie Zelda from the moment they were born.

I used to refer to her as my sister, she referred to me as "my best friend".  We were so much a part of each other's lives and the wound of losing that part of myself isn't yet distant enough for me to even know where to start to put pen to paper. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vista Theater Celebration of Zelda's Life

The memorial is at the Vista Theater on May 15th at 10:30am, and is open to the public.

David Rosenbaum Remembers Zelda

These memorials seem to start out with the year one met Zelda and the bizarre location of said meeting (ie a bank robbery or a bullfight). For me, it was 12 years ago on a plane to San Francisco. At thirty thousand feet that little foul mouth told me so many dirty jokes I hoped the oxygen mask would deploy so I could catch my breath from laughter. As we stood to disembark, she peeped, “Well, you now know I’m a naughty little thing and judging by your laugh I now know you’re a big gay thing. We’ll be friends for years.” And from that day forward we joked on the phone or in person at least once a week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Barbara Totschek Remembers Aunt Zelda

I'm Zelda's niece Barbara, partnered with nephew Paul, her brother's son.

My words get jumbled when I try to express my love and appreciation for Aunt Zelda.

I always called her Aunt Zelda which she and I loved. I got the "I like this girl" when there were a bunch of us at lunch and I said "gendershmender" about something. After that we were bonded. She would call every week to find out how her great nephew, Hayden, who is almost three, was doing. Every week we'd give her an update, she'd check up to see if his cold was better, how his talking was coming along, to just send loving over the phone.

When she came to town or we'd make the trek back to LA, she would hold my hand, look in my eyes and tell me how she adored me and of course, Hayden. She always made me feel strong and powerful even if I didn't feel like that before she smiled at me. I still feel the love of Aunt Zelda around me. She is with us all.

Davis Mikaels Remembers Zelda

I met Zelda working as a waiter (oh yeah... and actor... lol) at one of Zelda's favorite Los Angeles eateries ORSO (the now defunct and closed ORSO). I'm a newbie to Zelda's life... I've only known her for about 3 1/2 years as a dear friend as opposed to most everyone else that's been touched by ZB's glorious soul for a much longer time... and I'm jealous about not meeting her a lot sooner. Zelda sat in my section one night... and it changed my life forever... I wound up neglecting all my other tables because Zelda and I couldn't stop chit chatting and laughing. I don't even remember what we talked about... because it didn't matter... we were like a gaggle of girls just catching up on things. I remember I was kneeling for so long speaking with her that when it was time for me to stand up... both my legs were asleep. I didn't care... I had been touched by Zelda... and I was hooked. We were friends... there was no doubt about it...we were instant friends. I attended her birthday that year at El Cid's on Sunset Blvd... she opened up a whole new side of LA for me that I was missing out on. She introduced me to so many amazing people that I still consider good friends... including my long time agent. The reason I loved Zelda so much is because of her amazing heart... her big, no her GIGANTIC HEART. She always cared about other people... and she really did care. Case in point... we all know Zelda had her own health issues... but that didn't matter... whenever we spoke she made sure to ask me about my sick mother... and not just asking to be polite... REALLY asking about her... and I'll never forget that. I miss her smile, I miss her laugh... and I miss her dirty jokes... I miss you Zelda... I'll never forget you... I aspire to have a heart half as big as yours... one day we'll get Dim Sum together again.

Dale Reynolds Remembers Zelda

I had known Zelda for about three years when she got the role in POLTERGEIST. Of course we were all thrilled for her good fortune and I awaited stories on the filming, personalities, etc. So to my surprise, one day, I get a panicked call from ZR so full of fear that I barely recognized her voice. "Dale," she said, "I'm going to shoot tomorrow and I can't memorize my speech; I'm going to fail." "Whoa," sayeth I, "let me come over right now and work on this with you." So I dropped everything, drove over and spent two hours working with her. The first hour was just undoing the damage Steven Spielberg had done to her by a lovely conversation he had after casting her. "I wanted a Little Person in this role because I think there are too many talented folk out there not being given a fair chance. And this role will make you the most famous Little Person in America and will make you a star and give you a chance at an Academy Award," etc. The kind of bullshit that interferes with an actors' process. It's the work that counts, not the rewards. So we cleared up that bit of nonsense and then worked on her monologue, which she had down perfectly. She was just hung up on that Hollywood crap that drives careers, but interferes with the work. The next day she rang me in the afternoon to say she'd done her whole speech in one take and that they asked her if she could do another "for coverage." When I finally saw POLTERGEIST, a film I love for reasons far removed from our darling Zelda, I cried when that scene came up. Zelda was a talent and a gem and I was so proud of our work together.